October 16, 2009

Champions League 2009

How to resolve a tie

Andrew Hughes


Mike Hussey demonstrates a 98%-effort dive © Getty Images
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So, the Sharks of Sussex are out of the world’s finest international-club-versus-franchise jamboree. Their elimination on Tuesday night raised many questions. What were they doing there? What time is the flight home? When will they get their money? Additionally, the manner of their exit led some to question the legitimacy of the super over as a method of settling a match. Surely, it was a violation of Rory Hamilton-Brown’s human rights for him to be embarrassed twice in the same match. Isn’t there a better way? Indeed there is. Here, for your thoughtful consideration are four proposals for ensuring a swift and compassionate end to proceedings on those occasions when the participants have been too inept to sort it out for themselves.

The Coin Toss Before we consider the ridiculous, let us contemplate the sublime. The coin is, in fact, an elegant and unimpeachable arbiter and many of us have made some of our most important life decisions after flinging a bit of currency into the air. Indeed, I know of one particular High Court judge who would simply be unable to dispense justice as efficiently as he does without recourse to the coin toss. If it is good enough to decide upon prison sentences, marriage proposals, job offers and where to go for lunch, it ought to be good enough to settle the outcome of a Twenty20 game.

The Percentometer Cricketers love statistics but are notoriously unreliable. When Ravi Bopara says he gave it 110%, how can we be sure that this is an accurate estimate? For all we know, he might only have given it 106% or 99%. Fortunately, scientists at the Adelaide Institute of Silly Studies have developed the Percentometer, a device that can measure how hard a team have tried in percentage terms by correlating sweat volumes, profanity output and steely glares. In the event of a tie, the team with the highest Percentometer readings will win the game.

The Bank-Off These days, business goes with cricket like parasitic green algae with an ornamental pond. So why not bring some of the features of the corporate world into our great sport? In the event of a stalemate, accountants dressed in team colours will make their way to the middle of the pitch, and at specially built desks will proceed to audit the opposition team’s accounts. The franchise with the fewest accounting errors will be declared the winner. The only disadvantage with this suggestion is that it could take several hours, but this will allow plenty of time for television commercials.

The Dance-Off For reasons that are not immediately apparent, watching people dance badly on television has become very popular in certain parts of the world. What better way to cash in on this trend than by introducing a ballroom-dance competition to settle tied cricket matches? Each team will choose one pair of players to dress up in spangly suits and silly grins and perform in front of a celebrity panel of dance-floor dynamos, including Ravi “Rumba” Shastri and Sunny “Samba” Gavaskar. Watch out for Kolkata’s fabulous couple of captivating captains, Sourav Ganguly and Brendon McCullum. Their foxtrot is something to behold.

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Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by Oh Canada! on (October 31, 2009, 19:16 GMT)

Great ideas, but unfortunately the study you quote from the Adelaide Institute was trumped by a recent study by the Toronto School of Nonsensical Education which claims that the A.I.'s study did not account for levels of whinging and toy-throwing-from-pramming.

Posted by rainmaker on (October 19, 2009, 4:23 GMT)

Do you actually get paid to write this?

Posted by Dubby on (October 19, 2009, 3:59 GMT)

Well said essexboy. Fab idea

Posted by Steve on (October 17, 2009, 16:55 GMT)

Whats wrong with the bowlout? It's fun to watch, and exposes the inability of bowlers to hit unprotected wickets. Who can forget Afridi bowling two wides in the bowlout!

Posted by Peter on (October 17, 2009, 11:16 GMT)

Loved the humour in this piece. Very funny.

However, on a more serious note, I do believe the super-over is superior to tie-breakers in other sports.

Football and hockey for example has penalty shootouts which I believe has more luck elements in them.

With super over at least you get the 3 things that makes cricket cricket - batting, bowling and fielding.

If in a tie, team progression is based on factors like NRR or ranking in the group stage, I would find the whole match anticlimactic without a winner.

My thoughts now on the tie in the semis of 1999WC....... and what happens if still tied after super-over, another super-over?

Posted by Ben Smith on (October 17, 2009, 7:13 GMT)

To be honest, what's wrong with a good old tie? If, in the case of a tournament, you need to have one team progress to the next stage, go on net run rate. So the game itself should be called a tie but one team will go through on a better net run rate. If a final is tied- why can't the teams share the trophy.

I'm not a Sussex Fan, I was cheering for the Eagles all the way in that pool, but the Super Over Eliminator is too much of a lottery and doesn't reflect true cricket skills.

Posted by JoeS on (October 16, 2009, 23:25 GMT)

You people are idiots. Half of the people posting here apparently thought that this item was meant to be genuine.

Those people should promptly (without delay), give themselves an upper cut.

Posted by Jacob on (October 16, 2009, 20:03 GMT)

Rao and Surya, You guys need a lesson on how to detect a non serious article when you see one. Grow a beard and hit the road guys.

Posted by Ahsan on (October 16, 2009, 18:32 GMT)

on the funny perspective, basically on the basis of which this article was written, fabulous read. On some serious note though, SuperOvers are junks. whoever came up with this idea should be shot twice!!

Posted by Sharky on (October 16, 2009, 14:29 GMT)

I love the humour, but mostly only the Sussex fans feel now that the super-over are a bit unfair. The super-over has been used before the Eagles/Sussex game and before all this complains started to roll in. I think the super-over fits 20/20 cricket perfectly. Lots of excitement and the chance is good you'll see a few wickets or boundaries during a super-over. Seeing a bowler takes two wickets with two balls, while the two batsman wants to hit the ball out of the park, is sensational. It's fast and furious cricket. And with a bit of luck like 20/20 cricket. "I don,t like cricket, I love it." To see extra six balls of fun cricket is better than anything else. Especially a boring coin toss. Keep that idea for the Sussex fans.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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